Kit preview of RealSpace's 1/72 Voskhod 2.

Starship Modeler - The complete information source for modelers who build sci-fi, fantasy and real space subjects

RealSpace's 1/72 Voskhod 2 Preview

By John Lester - images & text © 1999

Parts: 11 Resin, plus two wires
Instructions: 1 sheet, with paint guide
Decals: None
Molding Quality: 9 - only a small amount of flash and a few small air bubbles to mar perfection.
Detail: 9 - very sharp.
Accuracy: 10 - According to everything I can find, this kit looks dead on.
MSRP: $35, available from RealSpace
Overall Rating: 9 - a bit on the expensive side, but the detail and subject matter are worth it.



^ Not much, but all that's needed.

[Heat shield and gas tanks]

[Airlock and cabin parts]

[Base and cosmonaut]

The Voskhod

Voskhod (Russian for "sunrise"), was the second of the Soviet Union's series of piloted spacecraft. The Voskhod vehicles were very similar to their Vostok predecessors, except that the cabin was enlarged to hold up to three cosmonauts - by dispensing with some instruments and the ejection seat for the original one pilot). The program was a stopgap, quickly developed to maintain the Soviet lead in space exploration that was threatened by the US Gemini program. Only two manned flights were made before the Soviets decided to concentrate on the Soyuz program.

Following one unmanned flight, Voskhod 1 was launched on 12 October, 1964. Three cosmonauts reportedly carried out medical tests, though details were never disclosed. The second mission, launched on 18 March 1965, was the most significant. During this flight, Cosmonaut Alexi Leonov crawled out the airlock tube and made humankind's first spacewalk. He floated 5 meters away from the ship (tied to it with a tether) for twelve minutes, snapping pictures of the earth and his ship. At the end, he found he could not get back into the airlock - airt trapped in folds of the spacesuit had ballooned out in places, making it impossible for him to get through the airlock hatch. Eight tense minutes later, after releasing the trapped air, he was safely back inside.

The adventure was not over yet, though. As Leonov and his crewmate, Pavel Belyayev, prepared to return to Earth, they discovered their capsule was facing the wrong direction. It took a further orbit to properly align the craft. This, in turn, altred their landing site. The Voskhod 2 craft parachuted into a remote region of the Ural mountains, where the two cosmonauts spent two days in the wilderness before rescue teams found them.

A third mission ws reportedly planned, but never carried out.

The kit consists of 11 well-cast resin pieces, plus brass tube and wires for the antennae. The resin pieces are smooth where they need to be (crew cabin, gas spheres) and textured where necessary (airlock tube, straps, heat shields, etc.). I'd expect that, of course - but what's really nice is that the level of texturing - perfectly smooth, almost like the surface of a marble, on the gas spheres and crew compartment for instance. This will really stand out under a coat of paint. In addition to the spacecraft, you get a cosmonaut figure, flexible wire to link him to the airlock tube, and the EVA camera to mount at the top.

Assembly looks pretty straightforward, at least according to the one page exploded diagrams. Saw off the casting plugs, glue the parts, and paint. I'll probably do this in subassemblies - cut everything off, make sure it all fits, then paint the three main sections separatelyand add the antenna wires last. This will make getting a good metallic finish on the heat shield and crew compartments easier.

The modeler will have to make the outer airlock hatch (a circular plate that opens inward into the tube), as well as the railing that goes around the top of the tube. The wires (which are missing from my kit, but easy enough to replace) are formed into the various antennae using the brass tube and full size templates on the instruction sheet.

The paint call-outs on the instruction sheet appear accurate, and the photo on the boxtop should also help. I'll also use Mike Mackowski's Space in Miniature #4 (Soviet Spacecraft) as a reference.

All in all, it looks like a great kit - and simple enough to build over a rainy weekend. Recommeneded for any but the newest beginner (some experience with resin would be helpful - but you can get that with this kit).

Go back up | Real Space Genre Page | Starship Modeler Home | Site Map | Feedback

This page copyright © 1997-9 Starship Modeler™. Last updated on 23 November 1999.